Friday, March 23, 2012

132nd Post - Divorce: Who Gets the Kids?

In BC, the marriage of the TF (Teacher's Federation) and Government is fundamentally damaged. We know reconciliation is most certain to fail. The TF has so much contempt for the Government, they can barely say 'Liberal' without spitting. In turn, the Government pokes back, passes laws sure to stir up the hornets nest; inevitably hitting their mark.

This is nothing new in BC. For the over 3 decades I've been a member of the TF, the gloves come off during contract negotiations and the fight is on. Neither side can make a move in good faith, because there is no trust. The marriage is toxic.

In the worst divorces, the ones with acrimony, contempt, disrespect, and dare I say hate, it becomes evident quickly that the children are collaterals. 

Parents entrench; children remain stuck in the middle.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

131st Post - How to Solve the Teacher Dispute

Something cheerful on
an otherwise dreary day
Happy Sunday!

Wow, where to start? 

BC teachers have voted 87% (or roughly 65% of the total membership) in favour of striking for three days beginning on Monday, March 5, 2012. No big surprise.
This is a highly emotional time for teachers and parents, as well as many students. There has been no shortage of rhetoric and so not to feel left out I shall add mine. My thoughts and opinions are based on over three decades of working in the public system as a teacher and more recently a school counsellor. I have worked in two different school districts and at a variety of schools: small/large; affluent/inner city; brand new buildings/buildings well past their 'best by' date. In short, I believe I have the earned the right to comment.  

This conflict is less to do with education and more to do with power and politics. That is not to say that there are not serious issues facing us in our public education system. There is room as well as need for improvement. There is also much that is excellent and worth celebrating. 
Yet rather than rolling up our sleeves and working constructively towards solutions, we have collectively walked away from the table and declared the Liberal Government a Bully.